Well this metaphor was bound to be made, considering this blog is written by three former UTS bus drivers.
Yesterday the Hoos picked up their 15th commitment for the class of 2013 when Toms River, New Jersey offensive lineman Brad Henson jumped on board. In a season which will most likely have a smaller class, one Wahooze expects to be around 18-20 kids, space is going fast. This class is extremely talented and more importantly deep. Spots are going to be very selective moving forward, which hopefully will mean commitments will continue to come down fast and furious, as they have over the last week. As a refresher here is the class so far:
Quarterbacks3-star Brendan Marshall - Good Counsel
3-star Corwin Cutler - Ocean Lakes
3-star Andre Levrone - Good Counsel
3-star Zack Jones- Oscar Smith
3-star Keeon Johnson - A.L. Brown (North Carolina)
3-star Sadiq Olanrewaju - Salisbury (Connecticut)
3-star Jack McDonald - Boston Collegiate Charter School (Massachusetts)
3-star Brad Henson - Monsignor Donovan (New Jersey)
3-star Brad Henson - Monsignor Donovan (New Jersey)
2-star Jack English - St. Christopher's
4-star Donta Wilkins - Potomac
4-star Micah Kiser - Gilman School
3-star LaChaston Smith - South Iredell (North Carolina)
Defensive Backs4-star Tim Harris - Varina
3-star Hipolito Corporan - Westside (Texas)
4-star Kirk Garner - Good Counsel
Again, that's 15 commitments, which leaves three to five open spots in the class. Let's take a look at who the staff is targeting...
Riding Shotgun - These players have a spot on the bus regardless of how full it gets
- Taquan " Smoke" Mizzell (RB) - Talk about stock blowing up. Smoke is destroying the camp circuit of late, leading some to speculate he could reach 5-star status by the time all is said and done. Long considered a heavy UVA lean, Mizzell is also hearing a lot from the West Virginia Mountaineers. While we shouldn't be too concerned, that high powered offense is something that has to get his attention. If the short scholarship situation leads to earlier commits, it will benefit us more with Smoke than anyone else.
- Wyatt Teller (DE) - Some (myself included) see a lot of Chris Long in Wyatt Teller. That's extrememly high praise for a kid just entering his senior year in high school. At 6-5, 255 and growing, Teller already looks the part of a big time DE at the next level. He has game-changing abilities on the pass rush, and paired with Eli Harold and Mike Moore from the Class of 2012, could be terrifying.
- Oren Burks (LB) - UVA lost two of its top LB prospects when Larenz Bryant committed to South Carolina, and Peter Kalambayi committed to Stanford. This makes Burks even more of a priority than he was previously. This however is not just based on necessity. Burks has a ton of talent and is consistently underrated in our opinion. UVA has been built on under the radar guys, and Burks is no exception.
Behind the Yellow Line - These players will be able to get on the bus, assuming there are seats remaining
- Tevin Montgomery (DT) - UVA got a huge commitment from Donta Wilkins, but he is not the only good DT prospect in this class that is considering the Hoos. Tevin Montgomery is a 3-star DT out of Massachusetts. At 6-5, 295, he is already built to fit the part. Paired with Wilkins, Montgomery could anchor what could shape up to be an incredibly deep and talented defensive line, which could get even stronger in 2014 when some of the in-state studs in that class join the team.
Standing Room Only - These players will need some help to get on the bus
- Mike Tyson (LB/SS) - Iron Mike was a prospect in the class of 2012, but had some issues qualifying academically due to his lack of credits. He is spending a prep year at Hargrave and could be poised to make a run at a D1 scholarship. Tyson will grow into a solid weakside linebacker, at this point it could come down to a number crunch at UVA.
- Demetri McGill (DT) - McGill has always been a favorite of mine. He's completely enamored with Coach London. This is again another example of how the depth has improved at UVA. Normally McGill would be a player the staff would jump at, but this is a different UVA, one where only the top-of-the-board prospects have commitable offers.
Exit Through the Back Doors - These players are currently committed elsewhere, but we think could waver on that... in any case, they are currently off the bus
- Doug Randolph ( LB) - Randolph is currently committed to Stanford, sort of. He is considering Stanford, UVA, and Notre Dame. Benefits for the Hoos? Randolph plays at Woodberry Forest, about 30 minutes north of Charlottesville. Of all the players we could flip, we have the most confidence in our ability to lure Randolph, who would plug a huge hole at linebacker.
- Maurice Hurst Jr. (DT) - Hurst broke Wahoo fans hearts when he was swept up by Michigan. He seems pretty firm on the Michigan bus, but a commitment from friend Tevin Montgomery, to go along with the recent commitment from Jack McDonald, could just swing it back into UVA's favor.
- Peter Kalambayi (LB) - Have I mentioned that we hate Stanford yet? Kalambayi is also committed to the Cardinal. Distance is going to be the biggest factor that plays in our favor with both Kalambayi and Randolph. If UVA can flip one of them to the good guys we will be set at linebacker for the recruiting cycle.